Schoesler says Democrats’ passage of anti-firearm bills won’t deter criminals

State Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued this statement after Democratic majorities in the Legislature passed House Bill 1240, which would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons in Washington, and House Bill 1143, which would prohibit someone from buying a firearm from a dealer unless the buyer has passed a background check and has completed a firearm-safety program.

“The rights of law-abiding people to buy and use firearms in in our state took a major step backward with the passage of these two bills by legislative Democrats. Banning specific weapons and requiring people to undergo background checks and take training programs won’t stop certain people who don’t care about laws yet are determined to shoot others.

“House Bill 1240 is written so the ban goes into effect once Governor Inslee signs it – which also means the people cannot challenge it through a referendum. I expect a lawsuit will be filed that eventually puts this before the U.S. Supreme Court — which will probably strike it down as unconstitutional.

“What is especially inconsistent and ironic about the Democrats’ approach to gun violence in our state is that they have approved proposals that would deny law-abiding people to buy certain weapons, yet House Democrats passed a bill that would have decriminalized the illegal use of firearms by repeat offenders. Fortunately, that bill died before reaching the Senate floor. If Democrats really care about gun violence as much as they claim, they need to ensure that crimes committed with a firearm receive stronger punishment, not weaker punishment, as I have proposed.”

Schoesler serves the 9th Legislative District.

HB 1240 and HB 1143 have been sent to Gov. Jay Inslee for his expected signatures.

The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to end Sunday.